I was busy on Wednesday and couldn’t make the White Acres mid week match, by Sunday I was chomping at
Gwinear Mini Festival
I didn’t leave myself much time to prepare for the Gwinear three day Bank Holiday mini festival, I only booked in on the Thursday night! I heard it had been fishing really well, and after a couple of conversations the fishing bug bit, so the following morning I was there with the other twenty looking forward to some good sport. It was a simple format, a random draw on day one saw you stay in the same section of anglers for three days, fishing each lake in turn.
The bag of dreams deemed that I was on peg 51, Phase Two on the first day and it is a peg I have fished before on a couple of previous occasions. I went to the peg feeling confident of a good days fishing. My plan was simple and that was to concentrate on a 5m line and down the edge to my right. I also had a long edge peg to my left along the bank. Rigs for the deeper swim were J Range J8 floats with a bulk of no. 8’s to a .14 hook length and a size 16s PR36 hook with a microband hair rig. The edge rig was J2 floats size 4 x 8 with the same hook pattern and band. I was putting my faith in pellet and it was 6mm and 8mm for the hook and a mixture of micros and 4mm for feed. It really couldn’t have been much simpler.
The match started and I cupped in some feed on my two 5m lines which were at angles to me, I also threw some pellets to my right margin. Starting at 5m to right hand I had a bite within minutes and was soon playing a very lively fish. I couldn’t believe the size of the carp when it popped up at the net as it was around a pound but had the attitude of a 6lb common, man it was angry! The match went well taking small carp from both lines for three hours or so. The beauty of both swims at 5m meant that I could feed both by hand, although I also had a toss pot attached to my pole. I also had a few carp to my right margin, but they were not much bigger, they were equally fit and each one was a real scrap.
The previous night had been quite cold and the colour had dropped out of the lake from what I had been told, I certainly couldn’t keep the fish interested and now could not get a bite at 5m. By the middle of the fourth hour I was alternating the margin swims. A few fish were caught but I could not settle them properly and in the last hour I was really struggling for bites. Nigel Sander opposite me on my nemesis peg 36, was moving into overdrive! He had caught steady throughout the match but now the fish were there with a vengeance! I just knew that he was creeping into the lead. Everybody on our lake was catching but from what I could see Nigel and I had our heads in front. The scales proved that when Nigel weighed 109lb and I had 86lb for first and second. My fish were small in fact I had 53 carp for my weight a real shame about the last hour. On Phase 1 Andy Taft had obliterated the lake with a 105lb lake win. Harry Billing on Phase Three peg 31 had started his relentless march by winning that lake with around 108lb.
Saturday saw my section move to Phase One, and I was delighted to draw peg 6 which is another end peg, and again a peg that I have fished a couple of times before. This lake had fished hard the previous day with the exception of peg 3; the other leading weights were around 40lb. Now, with that in mind I decided to fish for skimmers, hopefully I was going to catch over 20lb of them and top those up with a few carp early and late in the match, I just hoped my plan worked! My rigs were the same but with a lighter hook length and a size 16 T213 hook as I was going to fish worm and maggot for the skimmers. I was also told that no fish had been caught down the side in my swim and a quick chat with Arthur who fished my swim the previous day revealed that he fished corn down the edge. I decided I was going with plenty of micro pellet for the edge, and actually bought some more just before I went to the peg.
At the start I fed a 6m line with four balls of Yorkshire Bait Bloodworm Groundbait containing some chopped worm and some micros. I also fed a full cup of micros to my left hand margin at 14m probably around ½ a metre from the bank. I hoped the fish would show themselves by churning up the micros and creating visible wafts of silt when they arrived in that swim. My right hand margin was left alone feed wise; I planned on feeding that after a couple of hours. I started the match on the method feeder cast towards the middle of the lake hoping for a couple of quick carp. Unfortunately that never happened, the tip would not go round, after 20 minutes I was bored with that approach, I really wish I had a little more patience when it comes to fishing the feeder! I had convinced myself that the fish were in my left margin and had a go on the pole. All I managed there was one lost fish and I think that was a small F1.
With around 40 minutes gone I picked up my Bream rig and went out with a worm section, at last I had a proper bite, my rig had a double bulk and the float lifted about half an inch, it was a nice skimmer over a pound. The next couple of hours were very enjoyable and fish were coming regularly as I alternated my two main swims. There was a mixture of Skimmers, Tench and F1’s, no carp which surprised me. My only distraction was the left margin swim colouring up as carp came to feed, in fact I could see the odd one as the water was not that coloured. I kept having a go for them but only managed an F1, I felt the pole over their head was spooking the carp so I made the decision to abandon that swim and use the rest of my feed down the right hand margin.
I was still getting a few fish and was running short of worms; they were behind me in the bag. After shipping back the pole I put the top kit under my leg and left the rig dangling in the margin. Reaching back for the worm bag I just felt the pole suddenly shoot forward and within a micro second it was towed across the lake by an angry fish! I tried casting my feeder over the pole but it was soon out of reach past the middle. Unbelievably, the fish towed the pole to the other side of the lake where the angler opposite managed to hook it with his pole rig and save my top three, I am very grateful for your efforts. The fish was returned to the water which was a 10oz hybrid. Still a lesson learnt, never leave an unattended bait in the water!
With an hour to go I was struggling for bites but guessed I had in excess of 30lb and needed some carp to get good points. First drop in down the margin resulted in a lively 3 pounder and that was it I wasn’t changing in the last hour! I think I had around 8 more carp in what was a brilliant end to the match. I was pleased to win the section with around 65lb a few pounds more than Roger Baker who was second from peg 1. Elsewhere Andy Taft won his lake again with another 100lb plus weight as did Harry from flyer peg 36 again with another big hundred pound plus.
The last day saw my section move to Phase Three and what a change in the weather, we had just had two fantastic days of nice sunny conditions. Today the wind was howling and rain was forecast for much of the day. I really just hoped for a swim with the wind of my back so I could sit under the brolly! Peg 25 jumped out of the bag of dreams and it was just what the doctor ordered. It hadn’t won any of the previous two days but it was in a good area and the wind was perfect, which was handy as the rain started when we got to the bank and it was heavy man!
My plan was to fish within 5m of the bank in the deep water and the margins but I was also going to set up a J1 4 x 12 float for fishing 4’ deep at 13m as I know that fishing that depth in 10’ of water can be really effective. I did not change from the J8 4 x 14 for the deeper swims. The margin is very shallow in this swim so I concentrated a little way from the bank in around 3’ of water. The all in was shouted and I had a brilliant start to the match. I must have had a dozen carp in the first 20 minutes! The rig would just hit bottom and the float continued under, unfortunately it didn’t last. The fish were still there but they were feeding at all depths which resulted in a few foul hooked fish and after awhile they spooked from that line. I did manage to catch in the 3’ swims but just could not line them up.
Halfway through the match I was forced to fish shallow and was pleased to find a few on this line. As the match progressed I got more bites. They are not big carp but have good engines and fight like demons, it really was enjoyable fishing. But like all good things it had to end, Tony Williams instigating that by yelling all out.
This was quite a close match, I managed to get my head in front and win the section with 95lb. All I needed now was for Harry and Andy Taft to come around third in section! The scales moved around the complex and my wish just didn’t come true, as they both won their respective lakes for the third time. Andy with another ton plus and Harry with a big weight from Phase One, from a peg which had been poor on the previous two days.
Harry chalked up another series win with a perfect score; he was around 20 pounds in front of Andy Taft who really fished very well over the three days. I managed third place followed by Nigel Sanders and Simon Poynter. It was a really enjoyable three days, the fishing was superb with all the anglers catching plenty every day, what more can you ask for?
There is just something that needs mentioning before I close. The Sunday sky was very dark all day over Newquay, but I’m pretty sure it turned deep Blue at one stage at around 10am in the general direction of Trewaters. Later, I heard there was a bit of controversy as an angler was accused of feeding his margin swim before the start! A bit of investigative work revealed that my old mate Tourettes Taylor got of his box just before the start of the match, the wind got under the brolly and deposited his box and bait tray in his margin, no wonder the sky turned blue!